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Appalachian Mountain Club Boston Chapter Local Walks/Hikes Committee

Local Walks/Hikes Authors

Books by Active AMC Local Walks/Hikes Leaders

Front cover of Hilary Hopkins' book Never Say It's Just a Dandelion: 125 Wonderful Common Plants for Walkers and Walk Leaders
By Hilary Hopkins
Paperback, 272 pp.
ISBN: 0-9711048-0-8
Publisher: Jewelweed Books
Pub. Date: November, 2001
Price: $10.00
Available from the author (send email to Hilary at, and at, Wordsworth and The Harvard Coop in Cambridge, and the Mass. Audubon Drumlin Farm book shop, 208 S. Great Rd. (Rte. 117) in Lincoln, and on walks led by Hilary.

A take-along book about the plants a person will almost surely see in walking or hiking in the Northeast. For each of 125 wildflowers, trees, shrubs, and ferns, there is a page of succinct information including reasons for name, memory aids, growth habits, blooming time, uses, warnings, stories and activities. Opposite each page of text there is a blank page for notes, sketches and observations.

Sample pages


Front cover of Elmer Jones' book Walks on Weston Conservation Land: A Guide
By Elmer E. Jones
Paperback, 258 pp.
ISBN: 0-9672295-0-2
Publisher: Weston Forest & Trail Press
Pub. Date: 1999
Price: $15.00
Available at Dragon Books in Weston center, 391 Boston Post Rd., 781-647-0049; at the Mass. Audubon Drumlin Farm book shop, 208 S. Great Rd. (Rte. 117), Lincoln; at the AMC bookstore, 5 Joy St., Boston; at; and at AMC local walks led by Elmer.

An educational collection of 18 nature walks on Weston Massachusetts conservation lands with property descriptions, history, parking information, natural history and features of each. There are also lists of wildlife, wildflowers, blooming times, and 37 pen-and-ink drawings by Carol Govan.


Sample walk: Cat Rock and 80 Acres

Back cover of Elmer Jones' book

From the Author
This book will be a success if it encourages you to use your senses to experience this world during your walks. is very easy to see a new phenomenon whenever you go forth on a little walk if you take along an active curiosity.

More about
Never Say It's Just a Dandelion: 125 Wonderful Common Plants for Walkers and Walk Leaders
By Hilary Hopkins

From the Publisher
Filling a previously-vacant niche between a field guide and a text-heavy narrative, this inviting small book is a perfect companion on casual walks or hikes, or just for fun browsing on a rainy day. Plant rarities are exciting, but most people will never see them. Instead, walkers see grass, dandelions, clover, smartweed, oaks, maples, sumac and bracken fern. These are the kinds of "ordinary" plants affectionately explored in this lively book. Two unusual features are the simple activities suggested for close-up engagement with each plant, and the blank pages opposite each text entry--with an invitation to draw your own sketches, make notes, record observations.

From the Author
The title for my book came from my birder friends, the best of whom, I noticed, never said, "Oh, it's just a robin," but rather, "Look, a robin!" I love to find the wonders in the commonplace, the marvels that are hidden in plain view. If we can't see what's amazing about dandelions and grass that are right under our noses, how can we hope to cherish and care for the rest of it?

When I lead natural history walks, people often ask me, "Will we see any wildlife?" by which they nearly always mean animals. Well, the plants are wildlife too, and even more important than the animals. Furthermore, plants don't run or fly away when you try to study them, so you can explore them quite intimately, peering with your magnifier at their tiny mysteries and beauties.

Before I had written a word of the book, I had planned on including the "blank" pages for people to draw and write on. I like the idea that even people who "can't draw" (like me) can make perfectly good little sketches of what they see, the better to make friends with the plant.

I had a lot of fun writing this book, and I love every one of its 125 plants! I hope you will come to love them, too, and have as much fun as I did.

About the Author
Hilary Hopkins spent twenty-one years as a teacher of children and adults. Then she worked as a tour director and discovered how interested her passengers were in the plants they saw by the roadside. This led to her own studies of common plants and her present work as a teacher-naturalist for the Audubon Society. Hilary likes to find the wonderful things hidden in plain view, and helping others to see them, too.

Sample pages

More about
Walks on Weston Conservation Land: A Guide
By Elmer E. Jones

Table of Contents
Walk 1 - Cat Rock and 80 Acres
Walk 2 - Coburn Meadow
Walk 3 - The Sears Land
Walk 4 - Forbes Conservation Land
Walk 5 - Case Municipal Purposes Land
Walk 6 - Doublet Hill, Hemlock Pond, and Elliston Woods
Walk 7 - Hubbard Trail and Vicinity
Walk 8 - Cold Stream Brook
Walk 9 - The Blaney Aquifer
Walk 10 - Ash Street Conservation Lands
Walk 11 - Pine Street Town Forest
Walk 12 - Highland Street Forest
Walk 13 - Nolte Town Forest and Vicinity
Walk 14 - Chestnut Street and Woodland School Area
Walk 15 - Fiske Town Forest
Walk 16 - Jericho Town Forest
Walk 17 - College Conservation Area
Walk 18 - Ogilvie Town Forest

Appendix A: Woodland flowers
Appendix B: Calendar of Bloom
Appendix C: Weston Wildlife
Appendix D: Historical Note
Appendix E: Trail User Guide

Sample walk: Cat Rock and 80 Acres

Weston has more than 65 miles of trails, open to hikers, skiers, and horses, but not to motorized vehicles. The Weston Trail Map can be purchased for $10.00 at the Conservation Commission office next to the Town Hall and at Weston Forest and Trail Association walks on the first Sunday of every month (see for a schedule).